Healing from My C-Section by Anonymous

Healing from My C-Section by Anonymous

I broke two dishes in one day; if I break 2 dishes in a year, that’s a lot. I knew something was not right, so as I looked at the pieces of broken pottery on my counter, I thought about what just happened.

Rewinding 30 seconds, right before the dish broke, I had been thinking about pictures from a recent vacation, and how I thought I looked fat. The thought then came to my head, “Stop breaking your vessel!” What was going on here?

As I prayed for clarity, I realized this hadn’t been just this one errant thought, but rather one of a slowly compiled mountain of negative thoughts about my body and how I saw it that had been mounting for months and years:

I look pregnant.

My body looks disgusting.

Why can’t I lose this weight?

I guess I am just getting old and fat now.

My knee hurts.

My back hurts.

I can’t even really give birth.

Then it hit me, the flood of anger and resentment that I had had after having two C-Sections. I had thought these feelings were gone, moved along by time, but here they were and I was still mad at my body.

My body had acted irresponsibly, it had a job to do– to birth children, and it couldn’t even do that properly! If it hadn’t been for modern technology, who knows if me or my babies would have survived. It failed, and I resented that- twice.

Now the picture was starting to come together. I saw I had a real problem. I was subtly and subconsciously abusing myself and punishing my body- viciously.

I wanted to regain control of my body and show it who was boss; that it had better shape up and do what I willed it to do.

So that I could get back to looking like I did before I had children- before I had failed. I was bullying myself and I didn’t realize how close I was coming to ‘breaking my vessel’.

The following days were hard. I cried, in public (something I do even less frequently then breaking dishes). I agonized over getting dressed. I caught a brief glance of my stomach in the mirror and had the sharp thought of, “you look disgusting”, and then burst into tears as to how mean I was being to myself.

I realized that my perception of myself was just not accurate, and I had to accept that I just couldn’t trust my own eyes or my inner narrative right now.

I had to minimize damage to myself, which meant: no looking at my midsection in the mirror, only wear clothes I feel totally confident in, no weighing myself, and absolutely no diets. I could exercise, but only because I need my body to be strong, not as a punishment.

I started to stem the inner bleeding, but I also had to address the core problem. For that I turned inward, to a place where I can trust my inner voice. In deep meditation I prayed for clarity, for healing, for light, and to be blessed with the strength to confront my problem. Through these channels I started my journey into myself, hoping that my inner voice, my soul, would give me the insight I needed to shine some light into my darkness.

As I breathed in I felt so appreciative that, with those broken dishes, G-d had thrown my problem in my face. G-d had seen the self-abuse that I myself wasn’t fully cognizant of, and stepped in. I might have been clumsy with my dish, but G-d cared enough about me – and the vessel that he made for me – that he threw up a red flag.

Breathing out, I realized that I had ordained my Self as a god over my body. I had allowed my own Self to impose rules about how my body was supposed to function and look… to the point that I had turned into a controlling tyrant over my own body- criticizing it, dieting, castigating it for its wear and tear. How ridiculous that sounded, as I listened to my controlled breath. I remembered the fact that my body functions quite well on its own on a daily basis, without any conscious commands from this Self. My body does exactly what G-d created it to do- it’s my partner, not my subordinate.

In my mind’s eye, I saw the absurd fight that I was having- body vs. soul. Me vs. me. I was mad at my body for not doing what I wanted it to do… but so what! I can’t break up with it!

We need to move on, I am in a committed relationship with this body and that means we go together- no matter what. G-d is one, and now I have to see that my body and soul are one- not tyrant and slave- but partners in this odd three-legged race of life.

G-d really loves this body that He created, exactly as it is, specifically for this special piece of soul that I have. My soul told me that this is a body that I have to learn to love, because it was given in love, by G-d, who loves me. I tried to really sit with that one for a while. I could feel that concept expanding within me, but it couldn’t quite enter my heart, just yet.

Something was still blocking my heart, and I began to see that it was my eyes and my heart that were blackening my perception of things. Not only could I not I trust how I saw myself in the mirror, but I was suddenly struck with the fact that I was totally wrong about how I saw my two c-sections and felt about them.

I delved deep into my memories and feelings on what had happened, and finally started to articulate what I had felt all those years ago. I saw my c-sections as total failures on my part: that G-d had given me the privilege of bringing life into the world, that I had not seen the privilege through, and that my failure could have ended in death–a possibility that was unforgivable to me.

As I breathed through those revived feelings of anger and judgment, I felt something else piercing through. It occurred to me that maybe there was another side of the story- G-d’s side.

I had gone through over 13 hours of labor (both times) and when my body couldn’t take anymore, G-d gave me a miracle- he took away my pain with an epidural, so I could keep on my mission. G-d then kept me on my course by progressing my labor without any help on my part. And when labor met a dead end and the baby needed to come out by C-Section, G-d blessed me again with a miracle that the baby came out healthy and I recovered well each time.

Of course I had thanked G-d many times before for my healthy births and recoveries, but this understanding was different. It didn’t matter to G-d that I had ‘failed’ or that my body couldn’t take me the distance- G-d picked me up and took me across the finish line. G-d was my hero. When I was having trouble holding up my end of the job of birthing this new soul into the world, he just took control and did it for me. He was the G-d, and I was the vessel.

And here I was years later, viscously attacking that very vessel that had been blessed by G-d with those miracles. As I let my deep breath out, I was crushed by how wrong I had been all these years.

I breathed in and experienced an exaltedness that made me bow my head in gratitude for the first real time in my life; it was true awe of G-d.

I saw the magnitude of the fact that G-d controls life and death. This same G-d that controls eclipses, hurricanes, floods, winds, and earthquakes that affect the lives of millions of people also controls my life and the life of my children. This all powerful G-d, during my births, stopped and cared about my life. He didn’t care whether I could complete my mission or not; he cared enough about me that he went against nature to make sure that life, my beloved children, was brought into the world.

At that moment I felt an overwhelming humility in my chest and the immense greatness of His love swelling inside of me. I could feel my soul expand and my heart start to open up- perhaps enough to let a little love slip in and start to heal this cracked vessel–my body with my soul, together.

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4 comments

  1. What an amazing article! Thank you for sharing. I came across this today. On the birthday of my only child that I had a c-section with. I really appreciated what the author wrote. thank you.

  2. What a powerful piece. She was so brutally honest to share such painful feelings. Her insight at the end is overwhelming. Thanks sharing.

  3. This is Powerful.

  4. This is so profound and in fact is a very unique message for all women in our general attitude towards our bodies, wether we have been through physical trauma or not.This message resonates very deeply for all those who struggle with their physical image in any way. Thank you so much for sharing .

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